A miracle arrives

I've been away for several days to be a part of a miracle.

Anyone claiming that God doesn't exist or that miracles don't happen has probably never been part of the sperm or egg that contributed to the birth of a baby. Piper, my second daughter arrived shortly after midnight on Friday morning. As the sperm donor in the equation of life, I mostly play the position of quarterback for a running football team in this 40-week game of pregnancy, and my wife is the star running back. Just like in football, the most exciting moments are the final two minutes.

Delivery was at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, ranked first in the nation for the most babies delivered at a community hospital. The hospital does everything they can to make this a joyful & pleasant experience for everyone involved, and this starts with the labor & delivery room (one of 40) which reminded me of a large, plush hotel suite with hardwood floors. My wife and I enjoyed our last several hours of quiet before she received an epidural, the most painful part of her delivery. The star running back's job was complete, and she and our new daughter are both doing very well. After Piper's birth, we were able to spend a couple of hours alone with her before nurses arrived to give our baby a bath. They apologized for the delay and explained that they were completely slammed with deliveries.

By now it was about 4:30am, and a nurse arrived to let us know that we would be temporarily moving to a makeshift postpartum room because of the arrival of so many babies that evening. We were assured that this would not be long. So around 5:30am Friday morning we were moved to a "cubicle with a screen" labeled LH24 which was located in the main section of the hospital, away from the womens' center. The joyful and pleasant experience of my daughter's arrival in the labory & delivery room was about to turn ugly as the LH24 was nothing but noisy & bright. I later heard someone comment that LH stood for 'Loud as Hell', and while I'm not sure how loud hell is, LH24 was loud and I was pissed.

Once the baby arrived, I'm responsible for stepping up as the leader and quarterback of this team. I'm a reasonable guy, so I understand that Northside can't help the fact that they had more deliveries than anticipated. The first nurse came in to let us know her name & see if my wife needed anything. We asked her to give us her best & worst case scenarios for when we might get a room. When she said, "early afternoon" for the best case scenario, my blood boiled. I'm responsible for my wife's well-being as well as that of my newborn daughter, and since it had been over 24 hours since either my wife or I had slept, I wanted one of their real postpartum rooms -or- I wanted to be discharged since the delivery went so well and home sounded so peaceful & quiet. I alerted the nursing supervisor that we would be checking out at 11:00am if we weren't in a real postpartum room. I wasn't profane or rude, but I was firm.

Around 7:00am a nurse arrived for Piper to be checked out by a pediatrician. A rule my wife and I had from our first daughter's birth is to never let the baby out of your sight, and we carried this rule to Piper. I went with the nurse through the hallways onto the elevator to see the pediatrician. On the elevator, my daughter started spitting up and couldn't catch her breath. While the nurse tried to get her airways clear by patting her on the back, I tried to clean out her mouth with a bulb syringe, but she couldn't catch her breath and her lips started turning blue--a horrible and scary sign. When the elevator doors opened, the nurse bolted with my daughter to the nursery where she finally spit up and was immediately administered oxygen. Now I would never jeopardize the health or safety of my wife or daughter, so my plan for checking out at 11:00am was out the window given my daughter's choking spell... but that threat was the only leverage I had in trying to get us a room immediately. Fortunately the attending nurse took up our cause, and within an hour we were in our new room.

Mom and baby are now at home, and we've had no more choking spells. Our oldest daughter is amused by the latest addition. Daddy can't keep the smile off his face--I'm so blessed to be surrounded by the most wonderful and beautiful girls, my wife included. And they even let me watch the AFC and NFC championship games!